The proliferation of Free Zones in the United Arab Emirates witnesses the emergence of two parallel, yet distinct and divergent business environments. The “onshore” (the rest of the UAE) environment remains subject to national laws and regulations, regarding foreign ownership; whereas the free zones or the “offshore” environment, offers complete freedom of ownership to foreign investors.
As the proliferation of free zones continues, with nearly forty (40) free zones as of this writing, three segments within the free zone environment is also emerging. Initially, free zones were typified by proximity to a port or airport, however, over the last few years a new phenomenon has emerged which is not linked to a port or an airport but designed to appeal to specialized or service industries (an “urban free zone”).
The port-based free zones are working to attract investors who will route their shipments through the respective ports. The airport free zones have a comparable target market among users of air cargo. The urban free zones, on the other hand, allow freedom of movement within the onshore environment. Within the urban free zones, there is yet another segmentation between sector specific free zones and non-sector specific free zones. Sector specific free zones are dedicated to certain activities as well as ancillary and or supporting activities. Non-sector specific free zone have no or limited restrictions on the activities permitted within the zone.
The numerous UAE Free Zones have been successful in attracting a large number of companies and foreign direct investment. The major advantage in setting up in a
Free Zone is that companies are entitled to:
- 100% foreign ownership of the enterprise
- 100% import and export tax exemptions
- No restriction on repatriation of capital and profits
- No corporate taxes for 15 years, renewable for an additional 15 years
- No personal income taxes
SAGE Corporate offers full advice and assistance in selecting and the most appropriate Free Zone to incorporate, and thereafter undertakes all work required in completing the incorporation including: preparing business plans; obtaining the initial approvals and trade license; assistance with leasing the required office space, flexi desk or virtual office facility; and compliance with health and safety regulations. We are even on hand to assist with opening bank accounts and obtaining residence visas should you require.
- DMCC (Dubai)
- DUBAI SOUTH (Dubai) – Formally DWC
- TECOM (Dubai)
- JAFZA (Dubai)
- RAKFTZ (Ras Al Khaimah)
- CREATIVE CITY (Fujairah)
For more information on other Free Zones in the UAE, please do not hesitate to Contact Us